Saturday, November 19, 2011

Understanding the phenomenon of Sleep Paralysis

When you opened your eyes. You've just slept for several hours. You can feel your mind wandering between the conscious and not. Trying to collect your consciousness, you try to wake up. However, there is something wrong. Your body can not move, shortness of breath, as if some invisible creature who stepped on your chest. You open your mouth and started to scream, no sound came out. Someone is strangling my neck, you think. There's something wrong.

Yes, you get my drift. We've all experienced it. Some refer to this phenomenon as superimposed ghost or IREP, IREP. I wonder what the official says Indonesian language. First, I had thought that the word phenomenon is called Lucid Dream. However, it turns out I was wrong. This phenomenon is actually called Sleep Paralysis (Sleep Paralysis) or The Old Hag Syndrome.

Those who experience this phenomenon sometimes feel frightened because they thought being attacked by demons. Not to blame. Ancient times, there is a belief that this phenomenon is caused by the "Old Hag" or "magician" who was occupying the victim's chest. From there he earned the name The Old Hag Syndrome.

When science began to develop, called The Old Hag Syndrome is becoming obsolete. Researchers prefer to call Sleep Paralysis (SP).

Then, the question is: What gives?

According to the 1992 Gallup survey, almost all adults experiencing Sleep Paralysis, at least two years. So this phenomenon is not something foreign to humans. Attempts to examine has been ongoing since the 1950s, but only really be understood when researchers begin to understand the relationship between the condition of REM (rapid eye movement) with a dream

.When we sleep, we will enter a particular stage. Indeed there are many, but we will only see two big stages, namely Non-REM and REM.When we sleep, the first 80 minutes, we enter a state of Non Brake, followed by 10 minutes of REM. 90-minute cycle is repeated about 3 to 6 times a night. During non-REM sleep, our bodies produce some minor movement and our eyes moving small.When we enter the REM state, quickened heartbeat, breath becomes short and quick and our eyes move rapidly (rapid eye movement - REM). In this condition created by our dreams and we can clearly see objects in the dream.

Dr.Max Hirshkowitz, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Houston say that Sleep Paralysis occurs when the brain we experience the transition state between deep sleep dreams (REM dreaming sleep) and the conscious state.

During REM dreaming sleep, our brains turn off the function of motion most of the muscles of the body so that we can not move. In other words, we are temporarily paralyzed. This phenomenon is called REM atonia.

"Sometimes, our brains do not end our dreams or completely paralyzed when waking. This could explain why our bodies become stiff."

According to the results of his research, Dr.Hirshkowitz concluded that this effect only lasts for a few seconds to a maximum of one minute. However, for the victim, this experience seemed to last a very long time.

Then, what about the sense of a supernatural creature that appears in our room?

Florence Cardinal, another of the researchers says that hallucinations are usually accompany Sleep Paralysis. Sometimes there is a feeling that no one else in the room or even we could feel the creature that was hovering over us.

Then, we could feel the pressure in the chest like being stepped on or sat on. In fact, there are some victims who reported hearing footsteps, the door opened and strange noises. It's quite scary, but normal. In fact, many researchers who believe that the phenomenon of "abduction by aliens" or "evil spirits attacked" mostly just hallucinations associated with Sleep Paralysis.

Then, under what conditions the ordinary appeared Sleep Paralysis?

Some studies indicate the presence of certain conditions where the likelihood of experiencing Sleep Paralysis will be higher for someone. Those who experience it, it usually is when the relevant sleep on their backs.

Then, the phenomenon is more common in those who experience excessive fatigue, or those which disrupted normal sleep schedule.

And extraordinary, they are usually taking tranquilizers will become more frequent experience (Ironic is not it?).

How do we avoid Sleep Paralysis?

Here are some tips that results from clinical studies, namely:

1. Sleep enough and regularly

 2. Reduce Stress 
3. Exercise regularly

In other words, a healthy lifestyle!

But most important of all is, if you already have this, do not be afraid, because this phenomenon only lasts a moment and will soon pass.


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